Paralegal Two Year Program

The Federal Defenders of New York vigorously defends persons charged with federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We are an independent, non-profit organization with lawyers practicing in the federal courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, with offices located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, White Plains, and Central Islip. Our mission is straightforward: Although we provide our services free of cost, our clients should receive the finest legal representation available at any price.

We subscribe to a client-centered approach to legal representation. We listen to our clients, pay close attention to their individual needs, and work closely with paralegals, investigators and social workers to address all aspects of a client’s circumstances. We use that knowledge together with our legal experience, skill and judgment to fight for our clients and obtain the best result possible.

Our staff work together to provide comprehensive representation to our clients. We conduct thorough investigations, diligently counsel and advise clients about their options, and fight vigorously through motion practice and at trial. If our clients are convicted, we advocate on their behalf at sentencing by developing and presenting a full picture of their lives, not one defined exclusively by their mistakes. We also represent our clients on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals and, if possible to the United States Supreme Court.

We are currently accepting applications for paralegals in our Brooklyn office.


The Federal Defenders of New York is hiring recent college graduates for its unique two-year paralegal program in its Brooklyn office. The job is an excellent opportunity to gain substantive exposure to criminal law prior to law school or graduate studies.


Our paralegals work closely with trial attorneys and their clients on every step of federal criminal cases, from arrest to acquittal or sentencing. Paralegals have a wide scope of responsibilities from administrative and logistical tasks to client contact and evidence review. Specifically, paralegals conduct client interviews, help prepare bail packages, speak to witnesses, review evidence, and obtain mitigation materials from clients, their families, hospitals, schools, and drug treatment programs.

Paralegals often travel beyond the office whether to the courtroom, the visiting rooms of federal prisons, or into the field for investigation. Our paralegals also have the extraordinary opportunity to sit at counsel table at trials on a regular basis. Therefore, a crucial aspect of the position is collaboration with multiple members of our office including attorneys, social workers, investigators, and support staff.


Ideal candidates are self-motivated, independent workers; tenacious investigators; and professional and courteous ambassadors of our office to clients, their families, and other actors in the criminal justice system. We seek candidates with a sense of humor and flexibility, as well as an appreciation of the obstacles faced by our indigent clients, including issues of race, class, and ethnicity. Time management, organization, and attention to detail are key. We are seeking applicants from diverse experiences and backgrounds.

Please send cover letter and resume to Please state "Paralegal 2020 Brooklyn" in the subject line.

Will acknowledge only those invited for interview.